Today we will discuss how Jesus uses His followers to make disciples, which is the end result of discipleship. In order to make disciples, God has called us to reproduce His likeness to the world. Second Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” We are God’s representatives to the world—His ambassadors. And God makes His appeal through us as we bear fruit.
This is Jesus’ model for making disciples. During the three years Jesus spent with His disciples, He modeled what it looked like to love God and people, and He taught them the truth of the gospel. Jesus invested in this way so the disciples could go out and reproduce His likeness in the world once He ascended into heaven. In the same way, we are to make disciples who make disciples by reproducing God’s likeness in the world. This is the end goal of discipleship.
Jesus’ plan to carry His gospel to the world depended on His disciples’ word or testimony. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He said these words:
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:20–23)
Jesus asks God for those who would believe in Him through the original disciples’ word. Through the disciples’ word, others would come to follow Christ. And these followers of Christ would make disciples through their testimony, and the cycle would continue. The result of this model and unified front is that the world will know that God sent Jesus to show His love, and disciples will be made.
How can discipleship result in more disciples of Christ? We must pray! As Jesus sent out His disciples two by two, He said these words: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). The harvest is plentiful. We all need Jesus! And He has called us to pray for laborers to bring the gospel to a plentiful harvest.
“And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:14–15).